Vice-Chancellor's Office

Updates and events both on and off campus

Looking further in China

📥  Alumni event, Messages

With the Chinese New Year starting on 16th February, I wanted to take this opportunity to wish our students, staff and partners good fortune for the year ahead.

Our international profile and partnerships have become increasingly significant over the last few years and we are particularly proud of the strength of our relationships in China.

As with all relationships, considerable time and effort is required to make them work.  I am delighted that Professor Jeremy Bradshaw has now joined us as Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International & Doctoral) and Professor Catherine Montgomery from our Department of Education has started her role as Academic Director of International Partnerships.  Professors Bradshaw and Montgomery have strong track records in international engagement and both have considerable experience of working with colleagues in China.

The need for meaningful international collaboration is more pressing than ever. From climate change and energy, security to pandemics, displaced populations of people and water shortages, the global challenges we face do not stop at the borders of nation states. I believe that universities, working with other sectors, play a crucial role in bringing together the expertise and understanding required to find solutions to some of these real-world problems.

These themes were top of our agenda when Professor Bradshaw and I attended the Chinese Student and Scholars Association (CSSA UK) Chinese New Year Gala last week at the 02 in London.  The Gala was hosted by Mr Wang Yongli, Minister Counsellor of the Education Section of the Chinese Embassy, and the guests of honour were HE Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and his wife, Hu Pingua, who visited Bath in May 2016.  As well as enjoying a colourful evening of entertainment and celebration, the event provided an opportunity to network with those universities who have active links with China as well as a number of key influencers in international education.

The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings published this week show that China’s presence on the international stage is increasing.  The country’s focus is now on attracting international students to study in China, with a plethora of joint ventures being established with foreign universities.

I saw some of these initiatives for myself when I visited China last November to give a keynote speech at the grand opening of Zhejiang University International Campus. Zhejiang is one of our key strategic partners and a number of our departments are working collaboratively with colleagues there.  In establishing its International Campus, Zhejiang has provided an interesting new take on transnational education with several overseas partner universities locating specific faculties within an existing, successful host university. The International Campus will educate Chinese home students alongside students from many other nations, evolving a culture and curricula that meet the needs and aspirations of that mix of students. This model also allows research collaboration across the participating universities to grow and flourish. I think it will be a fascinating catalyst, enabling us to think about - and do - research and teaching in different ways.

Also during my November visit, I met with Dr Liu Jinghui, Secretary-General of the China Scholarship Council (CSC), and signed an important agreement for a joint scholarship programme to attract top PhD candidates from China, paving the way for new links with prestigious Chinese universities and research institutions in areas of shared research excellence.

These are exciting developments which will complement our existing links with China and will enable us to enhance the experience we offer to our international students.

We now have an impressive number of alumni based in China.  Only recently, I met 200 alumni and guests in Beijing.  I have now seen these events grow and change as our alumni network has gone from strength to strength. It is a real privilege to watch our talented graduates develop in their own careers, achieve their ambitions and remain so passionate about maintaining their connection with our University community.  It is thanks to dedicated individuals, such as Snow Wu, who has been Chair of the Beijing Alumni Chapter since 2009, that such networks thrive in countries all over the world.

Thank you to everyone who has played their part so far in building our connections in China.

I wish you a prosperous new year.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, President and Vice-Chancellor


Christmas message

📥  Messages

Dear colleagues,

As the year comes to a close it is an ideal time to look back over the past 12 months and ahead to the next.

I recognise it has been a difficult time for all of us who care deeply about this University. I'm pleased our governing body, Council, has agreed to take action on all HEFCE’s recommendations and that there will be an independent and rigorous Effectiveness Review of Council in the first part of next year.

My hope is that our community can now come together, both to share pride in our achievements in 2017 and to support each other through the changes and opportunities 2018 will bring.

We have made significant progress in implementing our strategy, including the creation of the Doctoral College, increased postgraduate recruitment, the new Centre for Learning and Teaching and a streamlined induction process.

These were underpinned by major infrastructure developments including the launch of our Pall Mall hub in London and Virgil Building here in Bath. Construction of the Milner Centre for Evolution building, Polden accommodation and new gym is underway on campus and plans for the new School of Management building and vision are taking shape.

The range and quality of our achievements were recognised through a Guardian top 5 ranking, and Sports University of the Year 2018 accolade in The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide, which again ranked us as the best university in the region. In addition, our outstanding teaching and learning was recognised with a Gold award in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Our researchers continued to generate global impacts with highlights including the first ever combined detection of both light and gravitational waves, just one example of our contribution to the sum of human knowledge.

One of my highlights of the year was the University of Bath Festival in May, when we hosted around 10,000 visitors from the local community on campus to share our incredible research, teaching and facilities.

As you know I will be standing down next August. During the months I have left in post I will focus on priority projects as well as playing my part in a smooth transition as the University recruits a new Vice-Chancellor.

The £60m Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) will be built on the Bristol & Bath Science Park and significant funding and architects are in already place. When established, the Institute will deliver transformational research on the development of future generations of ultra-low emission vehicles.

Investing in our campus will continue to be essential for delivering student satisfaction and outstanding research and teaching. Our University is a significant contributor to the City of Bath and the wider region both financially and socially but we are ever mindful of our responsibilities to the local community. My colleagues in the senior management team and I are working closely with local stakeholders to ensure we strike the right balance with our plans for the future as we develop.

I also plan to be involved in the final push to see us over the finish line for the £66m target for our Look Further fundraising campaign.

We will welcome more talented staff to our University in the year ahead and I am particularly looking forward to working with Professor Jeremy Bradshaw, our new Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International & Doctoral) when he joins us in February.

I hope you have a restful break with family and friends over the festive period.

Kind regards,

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell,
President and Vice-Chancellor


It’s today


📥  Let's Talk

Make sure you set a reminder in your diary! 

Don’t forget to come along to Let’s Talk – taking place today at 3.15pm in the Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge. All staff are welcome to come and listen to the presentations from the Senior Team, ask questions and stay to chat to the Senior Managers afterwards.

The event will be finished by 4.15pm so we will not take more than an hour and this is a great chance to talk to our Senior Team as well as get together with other departments and hear about some of the work that takes place across the organisation.

If you are unable to make it in person, you can tune in to watch the live stream on the Let’s Talk webpage.


Let’s Talk about our University Strategy


📥  Let's Talk

Tomorrow 3.15-4.15pm

The Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge or tune in online

Come along to hear from our senior managers

Let's Talk is your opportunity to hear from the President and Vice-Chancellor & other senior managers on the latest developments affecting the University, and to ask any questions.

Come along to hear from:

·         The President and Vice-Chancellor– introduction and welcome

·         Professor Jonathan Knight on progress with the Doctoral College

·         Professor Veronica Hope Hailey on her new role as Vice-President (Corporate Relations)  role

If you are unable to make it in person, you can tune in to watch a recording after the event on the Let’s Talk webpage.


Questions now closed


📥  Let's Talk

Come along on to ask your question in person.

Thank you to everyone who has submitted their questions for the next Let’s Talk taking place on Thursday 16 November at 3.15pm in The Edge.

If you didn’t have time to submit your question, please do come along to the event when the Senior Managers will be answering questions in person. Any questions not asked and answered on the day will be posted on the Let’s Talk webpage after the event.


Get your questions in by noon on Wednesday 8 November


📥  Let's Talk

Less than 1 week left to submit your questions in for the next Let’s Talk.

Let’s Talk will be taking place at the Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge on Thursday 16 November at 3.15-4.15pm. This is your chance to get your questions answered by the University leads.

Submit your question by emailing or drop your questions into the ‘Let’s Talk’ post box in the Claverton Rooms foyer by 12noon on Wednesday 8 November and even if we don’t get chance at the meeting you will receive an answer by email.

All questions and answers will be posted on the Let’s Talk webpage after the event. You can also click on the Let’s Talk webpage to see what questions have previously been asked at Let’s Talk.


Let’s Talk Exhibitors


📥  Let's Talk

An opportunity to hear about further developments at the University.

Following the presentations from the Senior Managers and Q&As at the next Let’s Talk, on Thursday 16 November, there will be the chance to continue discussions over refreshments and find out more from exhibitors in the Foyer at The Edge. The exhibitors will be:

  • The Edge Arts – find out what events, shows and exhibitions The Edge have coming up.
  • Doctoral College –  following an update about progress with the Doctoral College at the event, delivered by Professor Jonathan Knight.
  • Research Excellence Framework - promotion in collaboration with the Impact team in Research and Innovation Services
  • Centre for Learning and Teaching - find out more about how it supports and enhance learning experiences for all at Bath, including the Bath Scheme.

Submit your questions by emailing by 12noon on Wednesday 8 November.


Let’s Talk about our University Strategy

📥  Let's Talk

Thursday 16 November 3.15-4.15pm.

The Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge.

Come and find out about progress with the Doctoral College and the new Vice-President (Corporate Relations) role.

All staff are invited to our next Let’s Talk meeting taking place on Thursday 16 November between 3.15-4.15pm in the Arts Lecture Theatre, The Edge.

The aim is to give you the chance to hear about key elements of the University Strategy from the senior team who are leading it and the opportunity to ask your questions.

The President & Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell will introduce the event, we will then hear from Professor Jonathan Knight on progress with the Doctoral College and from Professor Veronica Hope Hailey about her new role as Vice-President (Corporate Relations).

Following the presentations, the panel and others will then take questions.

Send in your questions

You can ask your questions at the event or submit them beforehand by emailing or the ‘Let’s Talk’ post box in the Claverton Rooms foyer by 12noon on Wednesday 8 November. If there isn’t time to cover all pre-submitted questions on the day, answers will be emailed and posted online after the meeting.  You can view previous Q&As on the Let’s Talk webpage .

There will be the opportunity to continue discussions over refreshments as well as viewing displays about what’s on at The Edge, further information about the Doctoral College and highlights of the research that is currently taking place at the University.

If you can’t make it on the day, a recording will be posted on the Staff Homepage afterwards. To access this, and recordings of previous Let’s Talk events, visit the Let’s Talk webpage.


Best in the South West and Sports University of the Year

📥  Messages

Dear colleagues,

This weekend we can celebrate being named as Sports University of the Year for 2018 by The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide and once again being the highest ranked university in our region. We retain 12th place nationally.

The new edition of the guide comments on our strong links with business and the excellent prospects for Bath graduates who continue to be some of the most sought after in the country, ranking 7th overall.  When it comes to average starting salaries, our graduates rank fourth highest in the country and top in the South West.

The guide describes our sports facilities as ‘among the best in Europe’ and how the performance of our student sports teams and our achievement in topping the subject rankings for Sports Science have all contributed to being recognised as Sports University of the Year. We have also topped the subject table for Architecture. The guide will include full details of subject tables when published on Sunday.

As we look forward to a busy arrivals weekend and the start of the new Academic Session, it is gratifying to be once again recognised for excellence at the national level. I would like to thank all the students and staff who have made this possible.

To continue on the sporting theme, I wanted to take this opportunity to inform you of two forthcoming events which all are invited to join.

Monday 25 September at 1 pm in the Sports Training Village
Bath Graduate, England and former Team Bath Netball player Stacey Francis will become the latest inductee into the Team Bath Hall of Fame for Sport.

Wednesday 18 October at Bath Rec, 6:30 pm kick-off
University of Bath Rugby Club will take on fierce rivals Loughborough University in the national BUCS Super Rugby competition.

Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell
President and Vice-Chancellor